Freudis Rojas Rates Crawford Above Ennis, But Eyes Future Clash With Boots
Freudis Rojas has sparred with both Terence Crawford & Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis and rates Bud as the better fighter of the two from their sessions.
Rojas says Crawford would adapt quickly when hit with certain punches, and he couldn’t land those same shots.
Crawford’s Body Punches Impress
The unbeaten welterweight Rojas (12-0, 11 KOs) is in awe of the body punching from the two-time undisputed champion Crawford (40-0, 31 KOs) from their many sparring sessions.
Crawford, 36, is a decade older than Ennis (31-0, 28 KOs), so it’s a little unfair to compare where they’re at.
Still, Crawford being better in sparring doesn’t necessarily mean he can defeat Boots Ennis if they fought. Crawford only fights once a year now, and who knows how old he would be if he did choose to face him.
Crawford is coming off a career-best win over Errol Spence Jr. last July, and he expects to fight him next in early 2024.
Experience vs. Potential
“I thought that was messed up. Good for Boots, but coming off your big win for undisputed, and then a couple of months later, ‘Hey, man. I’ve got some bad news for you. You ain’t undisputed anymore.’ I’d be like, ‘Dang,’” said Freudis Rojas to Fighthype, talking about Terence Crawford getting stripped of his IBF title and Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis being made the new champion.
“In a way, I won’t blame if Bud goes up to 154. Better for me. It makes it way more easier for me to get his belts. I think that was pretty messed up that happened, but you never know what’s happening in boxing. There’s so much things going on in the business world that a lot of people don’t see,” Rojas continued.
It may seem unfair that the International Boxing Federation stripped Crawford so quickly of his IBF belt after capturing the best against Errol Spence, but the mandatory challenger Boots had already been waiting two years.
Crawford wasn’t going to defend against him, as he had the rematch with Spence. It would have been great for Crawford to keep the IBF for status purposes, but he wasn’t going to defend it, so he had it give it up.
“Yeah, I sparred Boots. It’s the question everyone asks. ‘Who is better, and who hits harder?’ They’re both tremendous fighters and have two different styles, but they both fight the same,” said Rojas about Boots Ennis and Crawford.
“Being in there first with Bud and then being in there with Ennis two weeks later when I went down to Philly. I’ve always said to everybody that Bud would take it off because of the experience he has,” said Rojas.
It’s hard to say what an aging 36-year-old Crawford could do against Boots, especially when Terence only fights annually. After his rematch with Spence in 2024, we probably won’t see Crawford back in the ring until 2025.
He’s like Halley’s comet. It’s rare when you see Terence in action, and if he’s going to sit and wait around, hoping for a Canelo Alvarez fight, we may not see Crawford until 2025 or 2026.
Like many rich older fighters, Crawford doesn’t stay active the way he should, so you can’t predict what would happen between him and Boots Ennis.
Terence will be older if he does fight him. He wouldn’t be the same person who beat Spence last July because he probably wouldn’t fight Boots until 2026. Crawford would almost be 40 by then.
“When I was in there because he has so much as the rounds go, as he sees me touching him with one thing, it’s not going to happen again for the second round. He’s always going to switch it up, which causes me to think,” said Rojas about Crawford.
“Obviously, you can’t compare Ennis to Bud. He’s still newer to the game. I don’t think he’s fought at too much of the top level as Bud has, but I just go off experience. That’s Bud, in that case, but they’re both hit tremendously hard,” said Rojas.
Crawford’s body shots
“Bud’s body shots are crazy. You go in the ring, and you get hit with one of those body shots,” said Rojas. “They make you re-think life for a second. ‘Why am I doing boxing? But it was good. Those are the sparring that you need to evolve as a fighter.”
It’s too bad Crawford doesn’t fight often because he’s now getting popular after 15 years in the pro ranks. If he had more ambition, you would think he could take advantage of his sudden popularity and squeeze in three fights in 2024 and another two in 2025 before retiring.
“If I spar with guys my level or lower, you’ll think you’re an animal and unstoppable, but then once you get with those top-level athletes like that, you’ll be like, ‘Okay, let me relax a little bit,” said Rojas.
“I’ve always said that would be a great fight for us to happen one day as well,” said Rojas about fighting Ennis. “Two of the best athletes. It might not happen at 147, but it might happen at 154. I’m still growing. If it doesn’t happen at 147, it’ll definitely happen at 154,” said Rojas.